Merchants' Bank (now Merchant Hotel)
Belfast, Ulster, Northern Ireland.
Text and Photograph by Philip V. Allingham 2006.
This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.
The ironwork outside the Ulster Merchants' Bank (designed by the then-young James Hamilton, a Glasgow architect, and cast in that Scottish city by ironmaster Laidlaw) is some of the finest surviving in Belfast. Built of golden sandstone, the building is in what C. E. B. Brett terms "an Italian-Romantic variation on the classical theme" (p. 37), Thomas Fitzpatrick's delightful ornamentation being more exuberant than one might find in more staid but classically inspired Victorian bank buildings.